Practice Improves Outcomes: Simulation’s role in modern health care

July 26, 2017 | by MEDNAX
Practice Improves Outcomes: Simulation’s role in modern health care

It is through practice that any human prepares for action. Simulation is a valuable tool that allows even experienced medical professionals to strengthen their abilities and preserve their existing skills. MEDNAX established its Simulation Program in January 2016 and currently provides training for anesthesia, neonatology and OB hospitalist service lines.

The ultimate goal of simulation is to provide lifelike, staged opportunities to enhance preparation for high-risk clinical scenarios that often have low-volume occurrence. Therefore, if and when a patient presents with a similar case, the theoretical run-throughs completed during simulation would translate into improved responses in real case scenarios.


Simulation helps improve patient safety

Patient safety and quality improvement are essential parts of modern health care, and core to MEDNAX’s mission of take great care of the patient, every day and in every way. The effects of simulation are proven as a performance improvement method. Simulation also helps advance communication, team work and other processes that can lead to improved outcomes.

Simulation reached health care through other high reliability industries such as aviation, which prepares for emergencies through practice. MEDNAX’s commitment to being a leader in patient safety began with our High Reliability Organization (HRO) anesthesia program, which after successful implementation has grown to high reliability programs planned for all of the MEDNAX service lines.


An accredited program with certified staff

As a health solutions partner, MEDNAX’s on-site simulation program helps providers improve competence and confidence in their patient care and offers consulting support to enhance or even provide the foundation of a facility’s simulation practice. “Our simulation program has recently earned provisional accreditation that runs through December of 2019 from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare,” said Gary Smith, RN, BSN, Simulation Program Director. “It was a rigorous process to reach this point, and we are deeply proud of the program we have created. Following this provisional period, we will seek full accreditation,” he said. “We look forward to expanding our program to our other subspecialties and to bring this unique opportunity to facilities across the country.”

Smith is also certified as a Health Simulation Educator (CHSE) and William Enfinger, the Simulation Program Technical Specialist, is certified as a Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS). Enfinger was just recently named a Distinguished CHEST Educator as a member of the inaugural class of recipients by the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST). This honor is given for national-level recognition of excellence in continuing medical education. Of the 87 additional accredited simulation programs in the U.S. and more than 100 programs worldwide, few offer an accredited program with fully certified staff. 


Technology brings simulation to life

“One of our program’s main differentiators is that training occurs onsite. We bring our equipment to you and provide simulation within a clinical setting,” said Smith. The MEDNAX Simulation Program provides customized options for a range of learners who will receive detailed feedback and evaluation through debriefings, which can include videotaped accounts of the simulation, after-action review and a comprehensive follow-up plan. 

The simulation experiences allow for a realistic interaction between the manikin and practitioner, allowing skills in emergency management, decision-making, communication, collaboration and handoff to be assessed or even enhanced. Simulation evaluates not only the provider but also the collaboration and communication within the health care teams involved. This can help mitigate risk, reduce errors and improve hospital performance metrics, while developing an environment committed to enhanced patient safety.

Interested in the simulation program?